GOP Convention In Flux as Gustav Nears

From CBS News' Allison O'Keefe:

(ST. PAUL, MINN) - As all eyes turn to coverage of Hurricane Gustav, Republicans are scrambling as try to adjust their convention from a "festive occasion" to a tamped-down affair.

Meantine, television networks are redirecting resources; convention speakers and delegates are cancelling appearances.

President Bush and Vice President Cheney will no longer travel to St. Paul as Bush will head to the hurricaine zone. The schedule of speakers is in constant flux - Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal will no longer speak and Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour will no longer attend.

McCain told FOX News Sunday that it wouldn't be "appropriate" to have a "festive occasion" while the country awaits the arrival of a natural disaster. He and his running mate, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, are meeting with emergency preparedness officials in Mississippi today.

A senior campaign official tells CBS News that McCain's campaign chairman Rick Davis is on the ground in St. Paul meeting with convention officials to discuss convention plans. Following their meeting, they will loop in McCain, who will direct them on how to move forward with the convention.

UPDATE 2:20pm ET: McCain spoke to reporters this morning while touring the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency Emergency Operation Center in Jackson, Mississippi. McCain repeated what he told FOX News about not having a "celebratory" events during the storms.

"We'll change our program and I'll be announcing details of it in the next few hours," McCain said. "But there's very little doubt that we have to go from a party event to a call to the nation for action, action to help our fellow citizens in this time of tragedy and disaster, action in the form of volunteering, donations, reaching out our hands and our hearts and our wallets to the people who are under such great threat from this great natural disaster. I pledge that tomorrow night, and if necessary, throughout our convention if necessary, to act as Americans not Republicans, because America needs us now no matter whether we are Republican or Democrat." "
  • Allison O'Keefe

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